Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau

Reclaiming my Welsh ancestry, my grandmother was a Jones (so I’m Smith and Jones). The contrast between the abject English team and it’s neanderthal supporters and the wonderfully exuberant Welsh team and their supporters is so tangible you can taste it. And to come barely a week after the brexit bollocks provides such an apposite counterpoint. Watched the game last night in my local pub with Hector and Tim and returned home in good humour. Kate and I watched some TV, a recording of the desultory Question Time which just lowered my mood and then a review of the day’s earlier commemoration of the Battle of the Somme. As proceedings unfolded I became increasingly uncomfortable. This country’s war remembrance industry justifiably to some extent is about those who fought and died. But there’s more that I find distinctly dodgy as it only focuses on British heroism. This is then reinforced by the second world war with our doughty island holding out against nazi Germany. This one-sided view of history keeps being reinforced; “two world wars and one world cup doo dah doo dah”. We see ourselves as unique, British, or more precisely, English exceptionalism. We view the rest of Europe as ‘other’, as ‘alien’. The English soccer team’s supporters go over to France reimagining themselves as invading armies of yore. We then vote to ‘leave Europe’. What an absolutely vacuous phrase. Of course we are an island but we are of the European continent. We are,right now, showing a very ugly face to the rest of the world.

Instead go to this link for a far more uplifting example of national support:

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/spine-tingling-moment-wales-players-11557208

So, let’s have a Wales Iceland final and we can have the equally spine tingling Icelandic chant.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

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